The debate "Give your ideas on this philosophy" was started by
February 22, 2017, 7:32 pm.
5 people are on the agree side of this discussion, while 1 person is on the disagree side.
There needs to be more votes to see what the common perception is.
It looks like most of the people in this community are on the agreeing side of this statement.
thereal posted 12 arguments to the agreers part.
TheExistentialist posted 8 arguments to the disagreers part.
thereal, human and 3 visitors agree.
The last thing I'd like to bring up is the issue of "new ethical problems" and new information about ethical issues.
Addressing new problems is an extremely difficult process with religious ethics. If we look at something like genetic engineering, religious ethics can't address it. Religious texts also don't address the problem of consciousness. So we can't make any ethical claims about A.I. or any non-human intelligence. We can't make any claims about cloning, about human medical trials, etc...
Furthermore, you can't use science to inform religious ethics since we can't overturn the divine commands. So, if we discover something like a "gay gene", it would alter public perception of homosexuality, but it couldn't influence religious ethics. Technically, the breeding of Mules is against the bible (Do not mate different kinds of animals) however, science tells us there are perfectly valid reasons for us to engage in the practice of creating mules.
The Bible tells us "'Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material", yet synthetic blends of materials have saved countless lives by providing better clothing.
Religious morality simply is too cumbersome to be useful when addressing new issues. It also makes erroneous claims like not eating shrimp which simply muddy the waters yet have no moral implication in the real world, but must be treated as moral acts when operating under a religious moral philosophy as the disobeying of even erroneous claims means you are violating the commandment of the source of morality (God).
Not having a way of addressing new issues either means that technological progress isn't subject to moral consideration (no constraints on gene manipulation) or it means such technologies can never be used (so no curing of genetic diseases through gene manipulation).
As for atheist morality:
By using Kant, virtue ethics, and utilitarianism I was simply trying to point out there are other objective frameworks for morality. I never claimed they were fool proof. it simply served as a way to dismiss your claim that "If youre atheist, murder is ok, robbery is ok, drinking your dads sperm is ok, incest is ok, etc. Because what arguments can an atheist present to prove that the "morals" which he believes in are in fact true? none" Since these frameworks give you arguments for moral conduct, it disproves this notion.
Now, I will defend a more coherent moral framework which you haven't addressed and that is social contract theory coupled with evolutionary ethics.
I would argue that these concepts give you the most robust framework for morality. Accepting that we are social animals which have evolved to display certain behaviors as a result of our social structure gives us a way to reconcile "intuition" and moral absolutes (killing, rape, etc...) it also gives us a framework for violating such principals in terms of war, punishment, or mitigating circumstances (i.e. stealing to feed oneself, etc...). Yet there are no issues of interpretation, no issues about the ontology of the dictator of morality, etc... furthermore, it malleable to a degree so that it can evolve with society and address new problems (ethics in science would be the big one). So, an atheist operating under these principals could say that: "murder is wrong because it violates the social contract I've entered by living in, and enjoying the benefits of a my society.". An atheist could also say that: "society x is wrong for allowing theft because personal property is a cornerstone of society, and being social animals we depend on societies to be the basis of our existence and biology".
If we move on to the claim that "almost all religions (certainly all of the major 5 religions) have the same moral codes"
This is a very misleading statement. Let's examine something like murder. While it is true that all religions have some clause against "murder", they don't actually make the same claim. The original hebrew version of the old testament used the word "ratzah" (murder) as opposed to "harag" (killing), it makes this most basic of commandments arbitrary. Since murder is just the unlawful killing of a person, the Tora is actually subjective here. It means that it advocates for the adherence to pre-established local law rather than God's moral code.
The same is true for "stealing". Stealing is the act of unlawfully taking property which legally belongs to someone else. However, if a person has no legal right to an item, then taking it is not stealing (Islam is probably the most famous for this as the religion doesn't bestow property rights to non-believers and thus stealing from non-believers isn't actually stealing).
As for homosexuality, only the old testament and koran really address homosexuality. The Vedas or the Upanishads contain no condemnation of homosexuality. In Buddhism there is also no mention of homosexuality.
let's talk about the Euthyphro dilemma as you answered it. "X is wrong because God, who is the creator of everything including morals, decided that it is and there is nobody more objective and detached from weaknesses such as human emotion than God."
this means you chose the 1st horn of the dilemma. The first horn means that morality is arbitrary. Since you cannot know the nature of God, and I doubt you have a way of proving the nature of God, you must simply trust that God is good. If however, you have a deceptive God, you'd have no way of verifying his commands as being truly morally right and thus are left in with an arbitrary moral code. So, in order to have a functional moral framework, you must first prove that God is good.
If we look at religious texts, we also don't know who authored them and whether or not mistakes were made in the original writings. We can compound this problem with the numerous translations of the texts which have made interpretations of the texts troublesome at best.
To further illustrate this, if religious texts are the source of morality, then there shouldn't be any room for interpretation and thus no debate about morality within the same religion. Are you prepared to make the case that there is no moral debate in religion?
The argument of which religion is correct is an entirely huge debate in on itself so im not going to get into that but it is quite simple, it would just require looking into the contexts and the writers of specific chapters and what was said in the chapters etc. But that is mostly a non-issue when it comes to morals because almost all religions (certainly all of the major 5 religions) have the same moral codes, e.g. homosexuality is wrong, sex before marriage is wrong, murder generally is wrong, thieving is wrong etc etc. Their only realy differences is in their interpretation of God but they universally agree that god is the creator of all and the creator of morals etc. So that is a non-issue.
In terms or humanism, it is flawed in the same way that the other philosophies i have dismantled are. How do you know that it has "better moral positions" than religious texts? After all, youre an atheist so everything is allowed! Everything is ok and nothing is wrong!
To conclude, i have dismantled every single one of your weak points and philosophies but am impressed at how hard you tried. Keep learning, one day you might reach my level.
You dont run into any problems of "false judgement" if your morals are from religion, you only run into that problem if youre atheist. Religion, as i stated, takes situation into account and makes it quite clear. For example in Islam, you do the lesser evil to prevent the greater evil and in terms of lying to save that Jew, Prophet Muhammad said in a hadeeth that if somebody lies to 2 people in order to break an enmity that exists between them, that is not a sin but rather a good deed. For example if person A hates person B and then person C goes to person A and says "person B wants to end this enmity and become friends" and then he says the same to person B and then person A and B break their enmity, that is a good deed on person C's behalf. Returning back to the Jewish example, it would be perfectly moral for you to tell the truth if your family is at risk in order to save them. As i said, do the lesser evil to prevent the greater evil. Telling the truth not feeling right in that situation is only because youre atheist and youre thinking of it subjectively again. Be consistent. Usually in such circumstances, either you would have to save your family and give up the Jew, or you would have to lie and most likely the SS would search your house anyway and then kill everybody when they find the jews. The thing is these "issues" you present are only in atheistic beliefs because atheists have no morals at all, it is a clusterf*** of different philosophies that dont work.
Religion makes it very easy, simple and logical. Like i said, "Dancy"s examples are only problems if youre atheist but not if you follow a religion because religion takes into account situation, whereas atheistic philosophies are subjective completely and their attempts at creating objective moral philosophies have just been a gigantic failure. They have more holes in them than a block of Swiss cheese. Their objective philosophies arent even objective, theyre just subjective philosophies worded in a way that they sound objective. But in practice, theyre not.
In objective morality, you can do X in certain cases but not others. Subjective morality is morality which involves human opinion and emotions, you dumbshit. The circumstance that somebody is in isnt an emotional factor, so rather it is included in the equation of objective morality. For example in Islam, it says "Repel evil by that deed which is better", which means do the lesser of the 2 evils. An example would be if somebody was to kill a murderer who planned to massacre a crowd. A smaller evil would be committed to prevent a greater evil and human emotion is not involved therefore it is objective morality.
In terms of the Euthyphro Dilemma, i dont know why you even bothered to mention it because with religion, there is a very simple answer to that. Sins are wrong and good deeds are good because God is the creator of everything, physical AND metaphysical, therefore only he is the qualified to be the decider of that which is right and wrong. To simplify it for your little brain, X is wrong because God, who is the creator of everything including morals, decided that it is and there is nobody more objective and detached from weaknesses such as human emotion than God.
Utalitarianism is also known as consequentialism and is the most commonly followed system of morals by atheists. With consequentialism specifically, my statement that atbeist would drink their dads sperm is correct because, as consequentialism is based on the results produced, it would be perfectly acceptable for an atheists to be sipping on their dads sperm. After all, the results are that you get a nice intake of protein (which is used for repair and growth in the body) and your dad gets a nice banging which makes him feel good when he orgasms, right? Well according to atheists, yes. You shot yourself in the foot with this example but that doesnt matter because i wouldve mentioned it anyway. Another way consequentialism is flawed is what if people feel pleasure from torturing animals? What if they enjoy it? According to consequentialists, it'd be ok as there is more pleasure than pain. Thats another flawed atheist philosophy.
Now onto Nicomachean ethics. Nicomachean ethics, if it is based on the balance of 2 things, is flawed even more than categorical imperative. Once again, there is no reason why 2 things should have to strike a balance for it to be moral. Once again, who is regulating what is the lower virtue and what is the higher virtue? Who decides if acts even have different levels of virtue? How do we know all acts dont just have the value of 0, meaning they are neither good nor bad (which would prove my point that atheists have no morals)? Another flaw is that if all things have to strike a balance to be moral, almost everything would be immoral. For example, pushing a cart would be deemed immoral by nicomachean ethucs because it is caused by an IMBALANCE of forces. Doing something good to somebody would be deemed immoral because it would cause them to become happy, this would be immoral according to nico ethics because happiness and sadness are not balanced in such an instance. Therefore, just like categorical imperative, Nicomachean Ethics is just another philosophy which is flawed without religion.
It is nice that you tried really hard to find all these moral arguments but theyre all flawed by a simple flaw that is inherent among atheists. in fact without it, atheists wouldnt even be atheists. This is that with arguments such as categorical imperative and nicomachean ethics, under atheism there is absolutely no reason why those actions would be right or wrong. For example with categorical imperative, it is an unconditional binding moral obligation which is blind to a person's purpose or situation. Though it sounds all fun and games, who is it that decides these moral obligations and why? For example, if categorical imperative says "murder is wrong in all circumstances", the question would be "why?". Why is murder wrong in any circumstance at all? After all, the person would be buried and then bacteria would decompose it and then plants and other organisms living in that area of soil would benefit from it greatly. If somebody was to massacre a town, that would be A lot of bodies being buried, therefore the environment would benefit from it greatly and then by extension, the survivors could benefit greatly as well because vegetables which are planted in that soil would be big and full, therefore feeding the survivors. Some could argue that the guy who killed the people would be doing a service to both the remaining survivors and the planet as whole (especially if it is overpopulated). If somebody robs another person, why is that wrong? What gives the person, who was robbed an inherent ownership over that which was stolen? Nobody. So on and so forth. Therefore categorical imperative is just another flawed atheistic philosophy.
Ill dismantke your claims post by post but its gona take a while to type it up, but be patient...
Nemiroff, for example i would rather die than massacre a pre-school. That is ine example. Existentialist ill respond to you later.
what act would you rather die then commit?
"Atheists have no moral foundation other than a "golden rule" which also derives from the bible"
this is also not true. Humanism doesn't require a God and has arguably better moral positions than any religious text.
Furthermore, we can look at social contract theory as a source for morality for atheists.
We can also look at things like utilitarianism, nicomachean ethics, existentialism, etc.... for profound moral truths and guidelines which compel one to act in accordance with those moral teachings.
We can also look at evolutionary biology as a source for moral guidelines (in conjunction with social contract theory) which produce both an onus and framework for moral acts.
"you dont understand what objective morality is. in objective morality, you can also do act x in certain cases but not others"
I think you don't understand the terms involved, but don't worry I'll teach you.
Objective morality: Objective morality is the idea that a certain system of ethics or set of moral judgments is not just true according to a person's subjective opinion, but factually true. Proponents of this theory would argue that a statement like "Murder is wrong" can be as objectively true as "1 + 1 = 2." Most of the time, the alleged source is God, or the Kantian categorical imperative.
This however leads you to the Euthyphro Dilemma: "Is it right because "x" commands it, or does "x" command it because it is right" (x being the source of the command i.e. God in most cases)
You also run into the problem of false judgements. Jonathan Dancy describes this when he proposes that if you take "do not lie" as a moral principle, you're going to come into trouble because lying doesn't always count against the rightness of an action. Actions can actually be good because they involve lying, for example if the SS come to your door and demand to know if you're hiding Jewish refugees. Telling the truth doesn't seem like the right thing to do in this case, and so "do not lie" cannot be a universally working moral principle. Dancy expands this example to prove how "do not kill" and "do not steal" cannot be a moral principle for the same reason - there are situations where both acts are at least morally permissible.
So unless you have a specific exemption (like in Islam with their self defense) you cannot act in accordance to what would produce a morally good outcome as the action would still be judged morally wrong.
The other problem you run into, is who/what actually is the moral authority. Is it Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc....? Since you cannot actually make a case for any of these religions being "the one" you are left with conflicting moral codes each with as much authority as the other.
So in effect, you have no moral authority to base your objective morality on which is deeply problematic.
Let's look at your claims 1 by 1 and see if they hold up.
"If you follow a religion, morality is objective"
---depending on your religion, this is true
"Otherwise you have no morals, its simple as that. If youre atheist, murder is ok, robbery is ok, drinking your dads sperm is ok, incest is ok, etc"
this is nonsense.
I'll give you some examples of moral theories that don't require religion.
--First we can look at objective moral theories like the "Categorical Imperative". This theory presented by Emanuel Kant gives an objective guideline to moral actions. In the categorical imperative you take each action as a maxim and universalize it. If the result is a contradiction then the action is immoral. So if we take something like lying and universalize is to "everyone should lie" we get a contradiction. Since lies need to be able to hide behind the veil of truth, everyone lying defeats the purpose and it is thus immoral.
--We can look at nicomachean ethics (virtue based) to see another objective morality which doesn't require religion to function. It states that there are higher and lower virtues. These virtues must strike a balance and actions must reflect this balance. So if we look at greed vs charity for example, the correct action is that which leads to a balance of self sustainability and charity for your fellow man. If I were to be so charitable as to be a ward of someone else, I would not be moral, but if I were to be so greedy as to not help my fellow man I would also not be moral.
Nicomachean ethics actually had a huge influence over early christian philosophers as well.
---Then we can look at semi-subjective ethics like utilitarianism (or varieties thereof). Actions in this sphere are judged based on the results they produce. So murder is wrong if it causes more pain than joy, but good if it causes more joy than pain. In utilitarianism, murder in a just war for example is acceptable, but not for pleasure. Animal experiments are ok, but torturing animals for joy isn't. etc...
Atheists have no moral foundation other than a "golden rule" which also derives from the bible...theyre barbaric indeed.
you dont understand what objective morality is. in objective morality, you can also do act x in certain cases but not others. For example in Islam, murder isnwromg unless it occurs in self-defence etc.
If you follow a religion, morality is objective. Otherwise you have no morals, its simple as that. If youre atheist, murder is ok, robbery is ok, drinking your dads sperm is ok, incest is ok, etc. Because what arguments can an atheist present to prove that the "morals" which he believes in are in fact true? none.
Sounds idealistic. It presupposes that morality is objective. If I don't believe in morality as an objective method of measuring an action, then I will not die rather than commit act "x", nor will I accept death for act "y". Yet my commitment to my philosophy remains intact and thus I can't be said to have a weak character.
In subjective morality, I can commit act "x" in certain situations but not others, so saying that I should choose death before ever doing "x" actually may go against some strong moral philosophical principals. So in that case neither the accusation of weak morality nor weak character would be true.
"You are of weak morals and character if there are no acts for which you would rather die than commit and if there are no acts for which you think death is deserving"